Habits, Life, Transformation

Fail #Day 18

100% (5)

It does come together. Everything. The power of faith, was the unseen force that I realized in the end. The reaffirmations do work, when every single cell in your body is aligned, to the same destiny.

It had been a tough 4 weeks practice. I had lost most of the games. It was hot and peak summer. We didn’t have air conditioning those day. Table tennis is considered one of the fastest games, because it requires sharp reflex and focus. My brother and I would go and practice in a small club, which had good players. Our father wanted to us to move a notch up in the game. From a nice cozy environment, the arena had changed to much bigger and we found ourselves like a tiny fish in an ocean. The players in the club worked hard and competed fervently to squeeze out every single point possible. I was at the receiving end and hated it.

Sports is a great teacher, and I was lucky enough to have this discipline in our family. My father played cricket until very long, as did many of my uncles. My father would compare sports to a real life, an arena that prepares you hard. It makes you humble and accept defeat and failure. If you played a sport, you would know that the real life is about not surrendering after a failure. And standing up again to give it another go.

And I was in one of the district level matches, one of the many that I had attended. There were new players that I had to play with. I was almost certain that I would face a very tough competition and may get knocked out by 2nd round or so. Since it was my participation money at stake, the only option left was to to try and with same intensity as during my practice.

It didn’t go that bad, I lost in the final. Thank goodness, that I lost. It was more disappointing than losing in the second round. And I got my money back.

I still enjoy playing table tennis today and when I get into the flow, I’m quite relentless. Thanks to my loss in final, I have kept playing in some way or the other.

Failure is a good proof of our limitations. If we give in, it would mean that we are literally limited in our virtue. Subliminally, we tend categories events as good and bad; the easy way to predispose our minds and actions. When we create these silos, we ourselves have become our greatest obstacle. We narrow down our definition of possibility. We limit our mind set. We are less open to experiments and become fixated. In doing so, you may never fail, but you will also never grow.

One of Robin Sharma’s favorite quote is Rumi’s and is beautiful…

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

Embracing new shouldn’t be a chore. Periodically, we would need to step out of our comfort zone. It may also sound mundane, but this is where the greatest potential lies. When we challenge ourselves, we expand our universe. We define new possibilities. Individuals with such growth mindset are most happy, when they are learning, creating a value for themselves. Not when they are flawless.

Do try something new today, which you would be scared of or not comfortable doing. And do it for at least 66 days. You may be surprised to find a new you.

By the way, I still have to win a final in Table tennis and have a feeling I’m getting there.

Photo & layout courtesy: canva.com

 

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Leadership, Life, Transformation

Predawn #Day 11

6

It is uncanny why most of the religions have prayers early morning. Technically, this is neither morning nor night, and is a short 30-35 minute zone between the dawn and the end of night. Predawn may be the closest word for it. This time period possess great power if harnessed regularly, as many of the mystics have discovered it. You will feel strong uninterrupted flow of intelligence, brightness and clarity in this time. It is said that anything and everything that you conceptualize during these hours, you are bound to see the fruition.

I can vouch for the difference in my life since the adoption of this ritual in my daily routine. The day I have missed getting up in the morning, it is equivalent of missing the morning tea. You won’t be 100% during that day.

I started this habit inspired by Mr. Robin Sharma, who calls this as the prestigious 5AM Club. Mr. Sharma prescribes 20/20/20 rule for these hours, which for me is difficult to follow. It is primarily because my exercise benchmark is more than 20 minutes, if one has to see any benefits. Therefore I had to make changes to the Mr. Sharma’s and make it suitable for my life. You can learn more about Mr. Sharma’s rules through his website, robinsharma.com.

My morning rituals are as follows…

I wake up at least 30 minutes before the time. I have made this time to be 5.00 am on weekdays. In order to wake up early, I ensure that I eat early, latest by 7.30 pm and hit the bed by 10.00 pm. I also require 30 minutes of reading time with my daughter, my personal night audit and self reading. I keep my alarm at a walkable distance, so that I get off the bed to switch it off. If you walk back to the bed, it is dangerous; you may not be able to get up again. Also, I have realized that body is a wonderful machine and if you remind yourself to wake up at a certain time in morning, you would open your eyes exactly at the time you had told yourself about. The first day of the weekend (Fridays in Dubai), I wake up at 3.45 am, because it the days when a long run is scheduled. The distance for the long run is usually in excess of 20 kms. Because of this rigor, I keep my Saturdays easy and wake up at whatever time I can. I try not to wake up later than 7.00 am.

The first 15 minutes is devoted to meditation when I wake up. I follow Soka Gakkai International (SGI) methodology, which includes open eye meditation, chanting and prayers. The prayers are reaffirmations of my goals. These 15 minutes are the most intense time of the day and my most precious. It is daily reflection time, I have guidance to resolve issues, new ideas and way forward. Many a time if I have not been able to decide, I would literally sleep over it and depending upon morning guidance I would act. I have been happy with most of the decision made during this time.

Next phase is followed by exercise, which is either a run (3 days in a week) or a trip to the gym (2 days). On the days, if I don’t go to the gym, I would take a walk around the beautiful Dubai Boulevard. My exercise is not less than 45 minutes during the weekday and over 2 hours during the weekend. I have observed that if I mix exercises, it reduces fatigue associated with the regime and makes exercises more enjoyable. You also end up using different parts of the body, when you do multiple exercise in comparison to following a single regime such as running. Saturdays are my rest days, where I don’t do any exercise, but I do my meditation when I get up.

With these two morning doses for my mental/spiritual and physical self, I’m prepared to take on anything that may come that day. If I do get time after that, which is possible on Fridays and Saturdays, I would devote to writing my journals and reading spiritually uplifting books. The only rule is that during these hours you should avoid any distractions, whether it is through phone or calls or laptop. Just be by yourself during these hours.

It is important to reaffirm oneself and track our progress on a daily basis and I have found these morning time the best time to such activity. I have also found my will power to be the strongest, more accepting of instructions (to self) and full of energy during this time. During these hours I have found everything, possible and every obstacle, manageable. You would also find that anything that you decide during this hour to be the most beneficial in the long run, in addition to it being rational and practical. I would strongly recommend that if you developing a new habit, this morning time is the best time to reaffirm yourself and provided you continue this for at least 66 days.

No wonder that the early rising habit and a morning ritual is a common trait amongst all successful people, millionaires, sports personalities and leaders. It is not easy and would require persistence and discipline. However, once you taste its benefits, I’m confident that you would find every thing else trivial.

Do dare and challenge yourself for next 66 days, you would see a very different sunrise every morning. It will be worth the effort, and don’t sleep over it.

 

Leadership, Life, Personal Development, Transformation

Personal Everest

 

Everest-West-Ridge

I’m Robin Sharma’s latest fan. “Stay centered on your personal Everest.” was his last message on the first news letter. These are powerful words (thank you Robin Sharma) and have stuck to me since I read it 3 day ago. Big revolutions start small.

Spectacular success in any field doesn’t come by luck. The thumb rule says 10,000 hours or 10 years of minimum devoted time required to master any discipline. Overnight success is a misnomer. Motivation may provide the initial push; discipline and dedication will carry you through. It is hard but not impossible, what you like will define your purpose and you will find a way. I don’t remember much about my crossing my first marathon finish line, but by first 10k. My dedicated 2 months preparation to conquer 10k, is filled with inspirational memories. The terrain was rugged and I fell twice. The distance was the longest that I had ever ran. The glory of crossing the finish line led me to complete half-marathon, full-marathon and the ultra distance.

Personal and professional greatness is one step at a time and required discipline. It requires getting out of the comfort zone and honing the skill again and again till it becomes a part of your subconscious. This journey is a lonely one.

I have started with a few steps that have proved beneficial.

#1) 5 AM Club: Morning starts at 5.00 AM without fail irrespective of weekday or weekend. This time is what I don’t share with anyone.

#2) Meditation: 30 minutes of meditation and prayer, crystallize the thoughts for the morning

#3) Journal writing: Heeding to this advice by Mr. Robin Sharma, sets the mood for the day. The journal has challenges, guidance and affirmations.

#4) Exercise: On alternate days, I go for a morning run.

Careful not to do too much, and focus only on activities that add 1% to you everyday (and therefore your climb to your personal Everest). Take time to imagine, reflect, plan and think. Regularly, you would need to pull yourself out of your comfort zone and encounter melange of doubt, hesitancy, escape & limiting belief.

This is not impossible but difficult. “Stay centered on your personal Everest.” Thank you Mr. Sharma.